The snow break was delicious! At least I thought so. Yes, it was a problem for the road crews. (Thank you guys very much for salting, scraping and cleaning the roads!) And the grocery store workers were exhausted from selling milk, bread, and eggs. AutoZone unloaded tire chains, salt, shovels, and wiper blades and Walmart dished out everything else. Meanwhile, I was warmly tucked in at home, cooking, cleaning and watching cable.
Some called it “Snowmagedon” and were horrified. I love it when everything comes to a screeching halt in the winter. No one can go anywhere for the most part and the governor tells everybody to stay home. Though my kids are grown, I’m thrilled when kids and adults get snow days!
I took down all my Christmas decorations, sorted through piles of papers and children’s lessons I had stacked here and there and then started to cook-for days. From homemade biscuits and French toast, to Italian Chicken soup, ham, roasted potatoes, dressing and navy beans, the smells throughout the house were heavenly. (My beloved said it smelled like his Momma’s house.)
Our son was snowed in with us to ensure he could get to work in Pikeville. Over his lifetime, we’ve survived numerous snowstorms together. We’ve made snow cream and snowmen galore. This year, though, there was a new element…he brought his dog, Bradley. Bradley is a Brittany spaniel and is absolutely precious. He has such a sweet nature that it is remarkable. And he loves me so much. I would venture to say that this week I was almost his very favorite human in the world. (His “boy” is always number one.)
I’ve never been a dog person-really. Don’t hate me; it’s just how I’m wired. I never had pets growing up. During our married life, though, my beloved and I have had dogs that stayed outside, and cats, too. Actually, we’ve had-and unfortunately killed or lost-just about every form of life except our kids. Turtles, canaries, hamsters, guinea pigs and all manner of fish have perished in our possession. It’s not that I don’t love wild-life; it’s just that I can’t sustain wild-life.
I figure dogs are like kids. They should be fed continuously and treated often for good behavior. And they probably need to go to the bathroom frequently.
The snow was beautiful. It slowly, gently fluttered to the ground covering absolutely everything in sight. It happened so quickly I hadn’t thought of what we would do when Bradley needed to go to the bathroom!
I suited up in boots, hat, scarf and gloves. Bradley is a flight risk so he has to be on a leash at all times when outdoors. Apparently Brittany spaniels are full of ninja skills. He can get away quick as a wink and has done so many times. We slipped and slid out to a perfect place for him to “do his business” as I held tightly to him. I didn’t think anything about it, planning to get out and back in in a flash. Not at all.
Bradley was totally disoriented outside. Everything he had known was now covered by white stuff! He couldn’t “go” out there! There was no grass, ner nuthin”! I begged, pleaded and coaxed, all to no avail. He just couldn’t do it. Back inside we went.
I marched his skinny legs out on a regular schedule with no results. He stuck his nose in the snow and then did a sneeze-like sound to get it out. He was so funny yet would not use the bathroom. He couldn’t “go” in the house-for the love! Who could I call or text for advice?! Should I Google it?! Did all dog owners go through this?
Then I had a brilliant idea. I shoveled a big area in the back yard-all by myself-all the way down to the grass. It was big and just what he needed. “Come on, Bradley,” I cheered, so hopeful. He just wanted to jump in the snow all around the grassy square. Seriously!!! Back inside again.
I was afraid to let him eat-yet we had been sneaking him secret treats the whole weekend. All of that had to come out sometime!
Back outside again, I held on to the leash, whispering, pleading. “Do your business,” I said again and again. Nothing worked and I began to wonder if there was a spiritual lesson somewhere in the whole thing. I was knee-deep in snow when it hit me: God prepares our way, directs our paths, and meets our needs…then waits on us until we are ready and willing to be obedient to Him. He is so patient, actually “longsuffering” (2 Peter 3:9).
Me-not so much. I got frustrated and hauled Bradley back to the house, shedding the coat, scarf, gloves and boots each time, leaving puddles from the snow everywhere.
Finally, finally, after 24 hours of exhausting motivation, Bradley pooped-OUTSIDE! I cheered like it was his birthday! We raced back in to get him a treat. Whew!
The snow is melting and Bradley is now back home. I know he’s missing me! And I miss him! He’s my grand-dog so, of course, I took a ton of pictures of him…trying to get in my lap, lying on my feet while I was cooking, dancing with me when I was doing Zumba. There are doggie toys and dishes scattered all over. It’ll take a few days to get clean up all the dog hair, but it was worth it.
I love snow days!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.